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Survey: Teens Think They Will Still Be Financially Dependent on Parents Until Their Mid-20s

April 01, 2013

Young adults are more optimistic about financial futures, yet concerned about paying for college

Junior Achievement USA® (JA) and The Allstate Foundation’s 2013 Teens and Personal Finance Poll shows that teenagers are more optimistic about their financial futures. Twenty percent more teens believe they will be financially better off than their parents. However, part of their financial security comes from depending on parents until a later age.

The survey found that 25 percent of teens think they will be of 25-27 years of age before becoming financially independent from their parents, up from 12 percent in 2011. Concurrently, parents are also expecting their children to be in their mid-20s by the time they are financially independent as the economy, availability of jobs and societal norms now indicate a longer dependence on parents.

“From our findings, we can infer that teens expect to live with their parents longer because 23 percent are unsure about their ability to budget and nearly 20 percent express similar feelings about the use of credit cards,” said Joanne Pastula, Junior Achievement of San Diego’s president and CEO.

She added that 34 percent of teens express a lack of confidence in their ability to invest their money.

“The good news is that resources are available, but now is the time to implement steps to help today’s teens secure independent financial futures,” said Pastula.

Since 2005, Junior Achievement and The Allstate Foundation have partnered to help students take the valuable information learned about personal finance in the classroom and apply it in their lives after graduation. The Junior Achievement JA Economics for Success® program, created in partnership with The Allstate Foundation, has helped more than 1.2 million students across the country to set personal goals about money and make wise financial choices.

“Parents continue to be the number one influence on teens when it comes to money so helping their teens set financial goals and take steps to meet them should pay off financially for both teens and their parents,” said Don Civgin, president and chief executive officer at Allstate Financial. “One goal many teens have is to go to college, yet nearly 30 percent of U.S. teens say they haven’t discussed paying for higher education with their parents and only nine percent admit to saving for college. There is a tremendous opportunity for family conversation on this topic.”

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Nationally, of the 33 percent of teens who say they do not use a budget, 42 percent are “not interested” and more than a quarter (26 percent) think “budgets are for adults.”
  • More than half of U.S. teens (52 percent) think students are borrowing too much to pay for college, yet only nine percent report they are currently saving money for college. Nearly 30 percent have not talked with their parents about paying for higher education.
  • The majority of U.S. teens (76 percent) still report the best time to learn about money management is in kindergarten through high school, but only 29 percent reported programs currently in place.

An executive summary of the 2013 Junior Achievement USA/Allstate Foundation Teens and Personal Finance Survey is available at The national study was conducted Feb. 5-15, 2013, using the KnowledgePanel to interview 1,025 teens ages 14-18 years old. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.


Junior Achievement of San Diego, Inc. works locally to reach 50,000 students in K-12 classrooms for the 2012-2013 school year, which takes thousands volunteers who lead classes and experiential programs.  For more information on programs in San Diego and Imperial Counties, visit

Allstate foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit